MC experience helps 2012 grads find themselves, their purpose

While thousands of members of the Class of 2012 nationwide continue to polish their resumes and head out to fairs in the pursuit of a good job — any good job — the post-baccalaureate path is clear to numerous Maryville College grads, largely because of what they experienced in the classrooms and with the faculty and staff members who encouraged them to find their strengths, follow their calling and stay the course. Meet four of them.

Jessica Francis — In September, Jessica Francis will embark on a nearly yearlong journey, traveling across the globe on a mission trip with World Race, a Christian ministry. The 21-year-old will travel to 11 countries in 11 months, serving wherever the need is - orphanages, hospitals, schools, even brothels. Her inspiration? A general education course — World Cultures 340: The Indian Subcontinent. Read More →

Michael Gunther Traveling with his family to Gatlinburg several years ago, Alabama native Michael Gunther expected nothing more than a vacation in the Smoky Mountains. Little did he know that a serendipitous drive through the Maryville College campus while on that trip would lead ultimately to destinations much further — like the snowy mountains of the French Alps. Read More →

Sarah Moore When Blount County native Sarah Ezalee Moore walks across the Maryville College commencement stage to receive her degree, she will have both resilience and perseverance tucked under her cap. Moore, who enrolled at the College in 2003, faced near-impossible obstacles throughout her journey to a bachelor’s degree, but she’s completed the requirements for graduation and is ready for the next phase of life. Read More →

Donald Rucker In his four years at Maryville College, Donald Rucker has been the quintessential 'man about campus' -- leading numerous student organizations, providing service to others and leading by example. Chosen to teach in the highly competitive Teach for America program, he’ll soon lead by example a much different population — elementary-school students from poverty-stricken communities. Read More →


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester is 1,168.